Monday, October 24, 2011

Art, Improving the Quality of Life

 It is widely accepted that art enriches both the lives of the artist and the lives of those that are exposed to the art.
  • Imagine if you would slipping away from the noise of the city and the demands of everyday life to spend a long lunch in quiet solitude, meditating or just contemplating the beauty around you. 
  • Imagine the sense of accomplishment in learning a new skill. 
  • Imagine the joy and laughter that can be found in listening to a musical or theatrical performance. 
  • Imagine the pride and boost in self esteem of a child returning from their first time at camp. 
Music, poetry/literature, visual and preforming arts all provide both the artist and the individual exposed to the art with a means of emotional release and enrichment, which in turn improves the overall quality of life for both. 

As one of the top 100 places to live (according to RelocateAmerica) and 2nd on Forbes' list of best places for business and careers Sioux Falls obviously understands that lives are enriched through exposure to all forms of artistic endeavors.  A cursory look at the many cultural and artistic attractions makes it is easy to see the community's drive for artistic excellence. Yet since the closing of the Horse Barn Arts Center earlier this year venues for emerging artists are virtually non existent.

To meet this need The Retreat at Pointer's Ridge a non-profit arts organization is proposing the development of the regions first artist's retreat. "The Retreat at Pointer's Ridge offers a unique gathering place designed to stimulate imagination for individuals and organizations seeking to improve outcomes in life, health and commerce through artistic expression" *
This river creates one border of the property
Today I had the privilege of touring the proposed site for the retreat which is located less than fifteen minutes north of Sioux Falls. It was very exciting to see the potential the site has to offer. Nestled in a wooded area adjacent to the river this location offers a peaceful setting away from the distractions of the city in which to pursue and develop artistic talents. This former Jaycee Camp although overgrown and run down still holds a great amount of charm, beauty and potential.
Here is the A-frame and a view of the cabins, behind which are the woods.
With the renovation of the existing facilities the retreat will have eight cabins for overnight stays, an A-frame with loft and a large central lodge with fireplace, piano, restrooms, showers and a commercial kitchen as well as other amenities. In addition to these some of the improvements they hope to add are a contemplation garden, hiking trails, outdoor fire pit and playground.
Just past the cabins and to the right of the central meeting hall is this small playground area

Although they look small the cabins will easily sleep 4 to 6 campers
These photos show only a small portion of the 23 acre site which sits on a gently slopping hillside. I was happy to hear that there are plans to restore the many wall panels in the main lodge which contain artwork by staff and visitors from the 30 years it was in operation by the Jaycee's. Unfortunately I didn't take my tripod with me so the photos I took inside the lodge were blurry.  To learn more about the vision and plans for the artist's retreat please visit The Retreat at Pointer's Ridge on Facebook.

* Excerpt from The Retreat at Pointer's Ridge mission statement.

Linking up with Unknown Mami for Sunday In My City

Unknown Mami

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Empire Mall

The Empire Mall in Sioux Falls draws shoppers from rural communities in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota and even north western Iowa. Our Mall may not be as large as those found in the Cities but it offers something for everyone.
High End Department Stores

 Children Friendly
 Game Center For Young and Old
Interesting and Unique Kiosks
 Great Sales
 Trendy Clothes
Large food court with tons of yummy food!

 They even offer a touch of culture with an ongoing art exhibit.
Artist are not charged to display their work and can sell the work if they so wish. A percentage of the sales of displayed artwork goes to benefit The Retreat.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween Spirit is Alive and Thriving in Sioux Falls!

Just the other afternoon while on my way to pick my granddaughter up from school I saw this ship and had to stop and check it out.
Turns out it is part of the home owners Halloween decorations. As I approached more decorations caught my eye.
There were two gentleman working on installing even more decorations in the front yard. The owner of the home (whom I will call Mr. Halloween) offered to take me on a tour, saying they weren't done with the front yard but had finished the indoors. How could I pass up such an interesting tour.
 We headed for the front porch . . .
Through the front door, where I was met by the butler . . .
Mr. Halloween invited me in to get a better look at the other entryway occupants . . .
After a short preview of the antics of the entryway occupants, Mr. Halloween explained to me that they decorate the entire house and open it for trick-or-treating. 
Next we entered the livingroom . . .
 It was so hard to decide 'Witch' way to look. It was a Halloween extravaganza!
Even the bedrooms and basement were all decked out for a fun and spooky time . . .

Going from one room to the next I was met by so many different creatures and spooky characters  offering treats and surprises . . .
No room was left untouched, not even the bathroom . . .
From front to back and top to bottom Mr. Halloween led me through a wonderland of Halloween spirit  and then out to the back porch. . .

Just when I thought for sure the tour must be over he led me around to the garage to meet his wife. I do believe my eyes popped out and my mouth dropped open. I was being shown the heart and soul of their operation, the work bench where many of their creatures come to be . . .
Mrs. Halloween was putting the finishing touches on a pirate skeleton and told me about how opening their home for trick-or-treating has become a major tradition for their family.  Mrs. Halloween pointed out various objects in the garage and told me where they were to be placed this year. Some items she said would not be used, but they still had the front and side yards to finish. I thanked them for the tour and promised to stop by again to see it when all of the decorations were in place, hopefully this coming week.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fireworks in October????

A few nights ago I was caught off guard by the sound of fireworks bursting in the air. I quickly grabbed my canon power shot and ran for the door to see if I could capture a few shots before they stopped.

I had no idea how long the show would last and didn't want to miss it so I didn't take the time to go get my tripod out of my car.  I was happy that at least a few of the shots turned out.

The trees blocked many of the fireworks but we were still able to see quite a few. This last one was my favorite one, it looked to me like a kitten up in a cherry tree in full bloom.
I was a little disappointed that when I cropped the image it no longer looked like a kitten in a tree.
In talking with one of my neighbors I discovered that the fireworks were part of the Homecoming King and Queen coronation celebration for the nearby Agustana College.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lights on the Water

Night time at the Falls is a magical time.

 The lights above the Queen Bee Mill are those of an airplane on it's approach to the Sioux Falls Airport.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday In My City: Autumn

Unknown Mami

The bike trails along the Big Sioux River are a great place to take advantage of a warm Autumn day.

My daughter found a heart
 We were not the only ones that thought it was a perfect day to enjoy the outdoors.

Even the wildlife were enjoying the lovely weather.

I hope you enjoyed Sunday in my city. Click on the button at the top to visit others.